Australians have been issued an alarming travel warning just days out from the 2020 US election.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade updated its travel warning on Friday for the US, which was already subject to a travel ban due to coronavirus.
Anyone who might have been plotting an attempt to get into the country ahead of the election has been strongly advised against doing so “due to the ongoing potential for violence”.
“Widespread protests and demonstrations have occurred across the country since 27 May 2020, and continue in several US cities,” DFAT said on the Smartraveller website.
“Some protests have turned violent. Avoid areas where protests are occurring due to the ongoing potential for unrest and violence.”
DFAT also said the US had a heightened risk of terrorist attacks.
“Terrorists may use vehicles, knives, homemade bombs, and poisons or toxins. Be alert, particularly in public places and at events,” DFAT said.
Australians already in the US were warned to “monitor the media for information and updates” and “follow the instructions of local authorities”.
The alert informed Australians that the election was to be held on November 3, and the inauguration on January 20.
With coronavirus still a major threat to the US, anyone in the country was urged to stay across the “various restrictions and public health measures” which vary by location.
“Follow the instructions of local authorities, including those related to quarantine, self-isolation, social-distancing and the wearing of masks,” the warning read.
“Monitor the Embassy website for further COVID-19 related information.”
Unease has been brewing over the possibility of civil unrest and voter intimidation on November 3 when Americans will head to polling booths to vote.
‘Don’t dress up like GI Joe’
Larry Krasner, the District Attorney in Philadelphia where protests are rife following the fatal police shooting of 27-year-old Black man Walter Wallace Jr, told CNN viewers on Friday that anyone attempting to intimidate voters would be prosecuted.
“The 2nd Amendment does not protect people who pretend to be a militia and have not been summoned by a governor,” Mr Krasner told the network.
“A militia is not something you just get to be by saying it. A militia is something you get to be when government authority summons you.
“So if you want to dress up like GI Joe and claim you are 'protecting the polls' when we all know you're intimidating voters, you're getting locked up.”
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